Dr Catherine Drysdale PhD

Dr Catherine Drysdale

Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research
Centre Fellow

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Catherine Drysdale is a Centre Fellow at the Centre for Systems Modelling and Quantitative Biomedicine (SMQB) looking at pseudospectral techniques to model perturbations to different biological rhythms including the sleep cycle. During her PhD, she used a variety of topics including pseudospectra and the presence of quasi-bases in order to investigate the interactions between non-normality and nonlinearity in a non-self-adjoint variation of the Ginzburg-Landau equation. Following this, she worked as a lead researcher for Nashville-based start-up ForBetterHealth developing an arbitrage framework for insurers that quantified reduced health risk in terms of money saved from avoided health complications. At Birmingham, she is interested in bringing the two fields together; in particular, firstly to model mathematically the effects of sleep deprivation and increased stress in the work environment and then afterwards consider the question of how to quantify any negative health effects financially. 


  • PhD in Fluid Mechanics from Ecole Polytechnique, 2021
  • MSci in Theoretical Physics and Applied Mathematics, University of Birmingham, 2017


Catherine Drysdale began her research career at the University of Birmingham as a TPAM student. Her master’s thesis won the James Mann prize for best project in Applied Mathematics and resulted in a publication between the Université Grenoble Alpes. Following this, she completed a PhD as part of the SSeMID (Stability and Sensitivity Methods for Industrial Design) International Training Network as a Marie Curie PhD scholar in Paris, France, under the supervision of Denis Sipp. Her affiliated laboratory and university were ONERA and Ecole Polytechnique respectively. Her work focussed on why reduced order modelling techniques such as Amplitude Equations and Weakly Nonlinear Expansions fail for partial differential equations when the linear operator is non-self-adjoint. Before joining Birmingham she worked at Nashville-based healthcare start-up ForBetterHealth as a lead researcher in the developing arbitrage frameworks between insurers and providers of preventative healthcare. Returning to academia, she is particularly interested in non-self-adjoint operators and efficient numerical calculation of pseudospectra. She hopes to use pseudospectra in the modelling of biological rhythms and why they are sensitive to some perturbations and not others.


  • Non-self-adjoint Operators
  • Numerical Computation of Pseudospectra
  • Delay Differential Equations
  • Reduced Order Modelling
  • Time Series Analysis


Needham DJ, Meyer JC, Billingham J, Drysdale C. The Riemann problem for a generalized Burgers equation with spatially decaying sound speed. I Large‐time asymptotics. Studies in Applied Mathematics. 2023 Jan 17.

Drysdale C, Doinikov AA, Marmottant P. Radiation dynamics of a cavitation bubble in a liquid-filled cavity surrounded by an elastic solid. Physical Review E. 2017 May 10;95(5):053104.